I smoked a whole chicken a few weeks ago.
I had brined the chicken for a day, seasoned it, kept it in the fridge, then put it in the smoker the next day. This is a similar process to how I make the roasted chicken.
I put 6 woodchips in the cup.
After smoking for 50 minutes, my intention had been to finish it off in the oven on the vertical roaster which I've used for roasting chickens. I wanted to finish browning it. However, I could not do that. The chicken was breaking in half from the bone as I removed it from the smoker. It broke easily.
However, I still wanted to finish it off by roasting it, because I had planned to do that. So I put it in a baking dish and baked it for 20 minutes.
As you can see anyways, it was probably sufficiently browned after smoking it.
Because it was a whole chicken, I ate it over several days. The first few days I ate it, the smoke flavor was very light, or just tasted weird. I don't know if it was too strong or what, but it just seemed off.
But, a few days after that, as I started to eat different parts, the smoky flavor was awesome. It was just the way I would have wanted it to be.
I think the dark meat tasted better smoky than the white meat, in general.
One other observation seemed to be that the seasoning didn't come through for most of the chicken. My intention had been to get the seasoning flavor of a roasted chicken, with an added smoky flavor. But this seemed to be either smoky flavor, or nothing. I don't think this was because of the amount of seasoning I used, as used the same amount as I would if I were to roast a chicken, and I have that part down. So even if it appears to be seasoned on the outside, I just couldn't taste much of it.
While there were a lot of different things to clean (Charring cup; charring lid; wire rack; inner cooking pot; pot lid), it wasn't bad at all. Each item was quick to clean, and didn't require too much effort. There was nothing stuck or resistant.
Probably the most annoying thing was the area in between the inner cooking pot and outer cooking pot. I had some crumbs fall in there, and even when I used a wet paper towel to try and get the crumbs, it still wasn't easy. It's just such a narrow space. And shaking the crumbs out from that area didn't help either.
Because parts of the chicken came out just the way I would have wanted (minus the flavor of the seasoning), I would say that this device is worth using, but perhaps it will take some experience for me to figure out how to smoke foods exactly as I want them.
When it's good, it's good, I just have to see how to get that consistent flavor throughout.
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